Cancer and your lifestyle

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Listen to what other teens have to say about the impact of cancer on lifestyle and making healthy choices now and in the future.

Key points

  • It is difficult to have full control over your health, but you can learn strategies and make choices to take control of some things.
  • Making healthy lifestyle choices includes asking questions about the foods you will eat, how to be physically active, caring for your mental health and attending follow-up appointments.

"I would do anything to just be healthy!" Sound familiar? You know what it's like to be sick and now you are feeling much better. Like many other teens who have experienced cancer, you want to learn new strategies to take control of your health.

It’s hard to have complete control of your health. Sometimes getting sick (in this case, getting cancer) is completely out of your control. It’s important to find a balance so you have control over some things and can accept the things you can’t change.

This section is all about finding that balance. You couldn't control getting cancer or the effects of your treatment. What you can control is the lifestyle you choose to lead to stay as healthy as possible during and after treatment.

For more videos regarding teens and cancer, please visit the Teens Taking Charge cancer playlist.

Making lifestyle choices involves asking the following questions:

  • What foods will I eat? Will I eat foods that are healthy all the time or will I allow myself a treat once in a while?
  • Will I be physically active? Will I accept my weight and shape?
  • Will I use drugs and alcohol? What will I do if my friends use drugs and alcohol?
  • Will I choose to smoke cigarettes? Will I try to quit if I have already started?
  • How will I express my sexuality? Will I make safe sexual choices that contribute to my health and make me feel good?
  • What can I do if I find myself feeling really sad or down? Will I look for help? Who can I talk to and trust?
  • Will I make safe decisions about being in the sun?
  • How will I manage my time so that I can do all the things I enjoy?
  • Will I continue to attend my long-term follow-up appointments to make sure things with my health are going well?

We are often surrounded by ads for unhealthy food, entertainment options (such as television shows and video games) that require us to sit still, and media that promote a narrow view of sexuality. With these influences, making healthy lifestyle choices can be difficult.

To make smart lifestyle choices, you need to know the facts. Some people find it helpful to create specific healthy living goals and make a commitment to themselves about their health and future.

This section has the information you need to make important lifestyle decisions. In the end, your lifestyle is up to you. We hope you find a balance that works for you.

Last updated: September 3rd 2019